Victoria Reid: The Key to Student Success

Victoria Reid has come from the stage to help Southern students learn the skills of Professional Presentations and succeed in conquering their fears beyond the classroom.

Reid, a Communications teacher at Southern Connecticut State University, has had a love for the theater since she was young. It started with family outings to local and professional productions. Reid’s passion for the theater developed from the shows she went to see, every single one heightening her call to the stage.

“I fell in love with it from the perspective of the audience. Everything, the lights, the stage, the set, the costumes, the stories, the voices. It was just a natural thing for me, I just kind of fell into it because I loved it the first time I tried it,” said Reid.

From years of performing Reid developed a confidence that blended into her personality. This gave Reid a presence that transcended the stage and made its way into her everyday life. This presence that Reid learned through years of performing is what she teaches her students in class.

Reid currently teaches Professional Presentations. In this class, Reid teaches her students how to properly present and professionally address an audience. Based on Reid’s past with theater, several techniques learned on the stage have been added to her class. Things such as confidence, vocal variety, vocal warmups, preparation and rehearsing are all critical components to the curriculum.

Teaching a public speaking class comes with the common dread and fear of the masses. Reid emphasizes to her students that it is alright to have stage fright, and confessed she also gets nerves before presenting or performing.

“I tell my public speaking students,” Reid said, “if you don’t have nerves you don’t care enough. I don’t really think of them as nerves so much, I found a way to reframe that whole concept as performance energy. So I feel that before I go onstage I get the little butterflies in my stomach but it means that I care and I’m ready and I’m excited to go.”

The lessons Reid teaches in her class inspire former students to come back to tell Reid how helpful the class was for them. Reid says they tell her of their successes in other classes due to the skills she taught them in COM 101. Not only does Reid have students from previous semesters succeeding beyond the class, but current students are also benefiting from the lessons they are learning.

 

Cover/Images: Maria Saracco